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08-24-2011, 10:22 AM   #1
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Time to do the Kit Lens Shuffle.

Hi guys,

So my girlfriend recently came back from a vacation in Europe and noted that she liked how her dad and sister's photos (Nikon D3000 users) came out compared to her little P&S. That said, I figure this is an opportune time to upgrade from my K-x to a K-5 and she's more than happy to oblige me on that. I'm currently using a Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-f/4.5 but if I get he K-5 I'll need to either grab a new kit lens for her or for myself. So here's are the options I've figured.

Keep in mind she'll probably only be using this for the occasional hike and vacations, and she likely prefers convenience over absolute photo quality (anything above her P&S is gravy for her).

Get the K-5 with an 18-135mm WR:
PROs: Longer ranger, weather sealing for hikes, quieter AF
CONs: slightly weaker results from the lens compared to 17-70mm, slower maximum aperture, probably most costly option.

Get the K-5, keep the sigma, and get her the Tamron 18-200mm for her:
PROs: The Tamron 18-200mm is only $225 from prodigital2000 right now, gives her the convenience she wants in a single lens thats still lightweight
CONs: much weaker image quality, slow maximum aperture, quality control issues may be difficult to deal with ordering online

Get the K-5, give her the sigma temporarily and use my prime kit until I track down an 18-55mm on the cheap:
PROs: probably better image quality than the 18-200mm, cheaper than other options
CONs: I have to keep my eyes peeled for a deal on the 18-55mm, she may want more range/convenience

Don't get the K-5 at all, keep the K-x and Sigma
PROs: I don't spend any extra money
CONs: I probably don't get to use my camera because my girlfriend will be stealing it regularly.

I've also considered trying to find an older 16-45mm, but the same concerns with the 18-55mm strategy apply.

Any feedback is appreciated guys, love the forums here!

08-24-2011, 10:39 AM   #2
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Hey, I sent you a PM.
08-24-2011, 10:55 AM   #3
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If she loves to hike, then a WR solution would be great, with the K-5 at least.

One thing seems important to remember : you could get a lens (say 18-135) "for her" but still use it when you want. DSLR lenses can be swapped. So you would not be giving away your Sigma.

You could also get the WR kit lens, for her still, and use it with the K-5 when WR is needed.
08-24-2011, 11:44 AM   #4
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thanks for the reply guys, the swapping thing is true so its something I'll consider. If anything the main limiting factor there is the cost of the K-5 /w 18-135mm kit. compared to the other options.

08-24-2011, 12:28 PM   #5
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You might try using one of those programs that analyze focal length usage on photos she's already taken. That would tell you whether the long end of a zoom is necessary, nice or useless.
08-24-2011, 12:51 PM   #6
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get a K5 and get her a DA 35mm f2.4 or even better, a DA 40mm f2.8

The K-x was made to be pair with a DA 40
08-24-2011, 01:17 PM   #7
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Assuming that your girlfriend is going to come down with a sudden mania for high IQ, I would get her the Tamron 18-200. That way she'll be taken care of once and for all and you won't have to worry about getting her more glass or her raiding your own glass. You can then focus your own energies in filling out and/or improving your K-5 glass.
08-24-2011, 01:28 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by mookowz13 Quote
Keep in mind she'll probably only be using this for the occasional hike and vacations, and she likely prefers convenience over absolute photo quality (anything above her P&S is gravy for her).
Be careful here with these assumptions. She's already taken the first step toward LBA ("noted that she liked how her dad and sister's photos came out compared to her little P&S"). It's a slippery slope and she could fall in headfirst. I'm not saying it will happen, but you never know.

Edit: Of course, to some of the folks here on the forum, a girl developing LBA might be a reason to propose marriage.


Last edited by CFWhitman; 08-24-2011 at 01:34 PM.
08-24-2011, 02:39 PM   #9
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@Just1MoreDave: Thanks for the suggestion, I'll definitely have to do that. Even with a shorter zoom I do have a 70-210mm that we can split so it wouldn't be the end of the world, its just a matter of how much she'd be inclined to switch lenses

@EagleFriends: I do actually have the 35mm f/2.4 right now and I love the lens (its my mainstay in my prime kit, extremely small and good for walkarounds in the city). That said, my girlfriend has stated that while she appreciates the smaller size and weight of primes, she'd much rather have convenience as long as she's not dealing with excessively heavy lenses, which is why the Tamron 18-200mm seems attractive (lightweight and full focal length compliment)

@northcoastgreg & CFWhitman: She doesn't appear to be a pixel peeper, yet, so I'm hoping I'm not going to forking out money to get her a DA* 60-260mm anytime soon. that said, if she were to get obsessive with the LBA I'm sure my heart would say yes but my wallet and brain would be yelling out "NO"!
08-24-2011, 02:56 PM   #10
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The 18-135 is still a good contender particularly if weather sealing has any bearing on your decision (or her preference in shooting conditions). Otherwise, a superzoom, or 18-55 + 55-300 would be the way to go IMO.
08-24-2011, 03:02 PM   #11
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No sense going to a better sensor and a weaker lens. Get a tamron or sigma 17-50/2.8, both with great IQ.
08-24-2011, 05:57 PM   #12
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All things considered, she would probably like the 18-135 the best. Great for hikes, and honestly, a lot can be done with post-processing.

If she masters THAT, then she would likely already know what lens to buy next. But the 18-135 is a good backbone to *any* kit (I wish I had it instead of the 18-55).
08-24-2011, 06:49 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by cfwhitman Quote
a girl developing lba might be a reason to propose marriage.
might?????
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